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A Bit About: Security Innovation in Banking








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Gabrielle 0:03

Hello, and welcome to a podcast brought to you by Parabit Systems. I'm your host Gabrielle. And today, I'm so thrilled to be joined by David Friedman, who's the Head of Physical Security at Apple Bank, and Rob Leiponis who is the CEO and President of Parabit Systems. Thanks so much for coming onto the podcast today, gentlemen, and welcome. Thank you. Absolutely. So I'm gonna go ahead and start with you, David, if you could go ahead and give me your name, your title, and just what it is you do within your industry, what your role is.


David Friedman 0:30

So my name is David Friedman, I'm the Chief Security Officer, Head of Physical Security for Apple Bank, which is located in New York. I have branches through the greater New York area. I've been in the security business for around 30 plus years. My focus is on keeping banks safe and secure, keeping the bank's assets safe and secure.


Gabrielle 0:56

Wonderful. And, you know, I wanted to ask you that you're just gonna have so much knowledge in this area. But what are some of the most recent trends in the security space that you're seeing right now, David?


David Friedman 1:04

Well, the trends that are emerging, are kind of reemerging post pandemic, we're looking at a lot of the same stuff we left off with in 2020, which is coming back. A lot of ATM what's called insertion, skimming, where devices are placed inside the ATM that steal card information. We do a lot of ID theft that perpetrates fraud. And we work with our fraud team to investigate that. But we have seen increases in a lot of society driven things like violent crimes, suspicious persons, suspicious activity, trespassing, and unauthorized access, loitering. And a lot of this is done by, you know, individuals who may appear to be unstable or under some kind of influence.


Gabrielle 1:57

And, you know, David, I wanted to ask you when it comes to enhancing the customer experience, you know, more so as it relates to branch and ATM lobby security, how important is security innovation to that process?


David Friedman 2:08

Well, you know, there's importance in innovation banks have been getting robbed since there's been banks. And you have to keep up with it. ATMs are always a special concern, because there's more of a vulnerability there. But risks evolve constantly. Regulatory, and compliance needs evolve constantly. Bad guys evolve constantly. I mean, bad guys have strategic meetings, just like security folks have them. So we're constantly trying to find new security procedures or refine our procedures, we're trying to get the most out of our system functionality, that it'll be more helpful to what we need out of it, and new ways to detect and deter and mitigate and fort, that's what we do. As far as customers, if we're doing our job, we're in the background customers not thinking about security. You know, we we want them to have a pleasant experience. We don't want the perception of an unhealthy or an unsafe environment.


Gabrielle 3:16

You know, what are just some of the common security issues that banks tend to deal with on a day to day basis? And just how much does that impact a customer's experience?


David Friedman 3:26

Well, again, we want them to have a positive experience. We don't want anyone feeling threatened or feeling that they are at risk. ATMs, again, bring a special challenge because we are not there with them. A lot of times when the customers are there. So we rely on our systems, we rely on our processes, good monitoring, and detection has to be in place, good incident response procedures, coordination with the community and with local law enforcement is very important. And again, you want to you want to make a quality customer experience. Security remains an afterthought.


Gabrielle 4:08

David, specifically for Apple bank, what procedures have you and your team implemented to help solve some of these security issues? And has that at all impacted or created a more positive experience for your customer base at all?


David Friedman 4:21

Well, you know, I'll defer to one of my favorite authors, Mark Manson, who tells you you never get rid of your problems you only replace them with hopefully better problems. So you know, we we try to operate in a real world we realize that there's always going to be mountains to climb so I think the Paramount thing you have to have is a solid security plan. It has to be well thought out. It has to apply to today's needs. It also has to apply to emerging threats or you know, dark corners that are learing. They need to be stringent policies and procedures, but not so stringent that they would hinder the business operation. You know, they have to be in line with regulatory requirements and all the laws, of course, they have to be in line with what the bank management expects from us. Very important procedures, we use, maybe branch opening and closing procedures, that's a time when the staff is very vulnerable to some bad things. Access control is very important. You don't want people getting into the wrong areas, incident reporting and response very important. Physical and electronic security standards and design. That's, you know, that's kind of my specialty coming from the alarm industry. And you want to have a robust system monitoring. And probably the main thing that makes a successful security program at a bank of any size is training, continuous training of the employees. You keep telling them, you know, you keep reviewing security with them, and the procedures. You know, not not just once a year in a PowerPoint, but but continually virtually and on site as much as possible. There's a lot of emerging technologies. And there's a convergence always between information technology and security. One of the new systems we have started using is by Parabit and it is around the ATM safety and security realm. Where it does the required regulatory requirement of card access on our doors, but they've added some value-added features to the system like door status monitoring, light level detection, human presence monitoring. These are innovations, these are tools that could take us to the next level and risk mitigation in terms of our ATM vestibules and our customers experiences.


Gabrielle 7:16

You know, and as we start to wrap up the conversation, is there just anything else you want the audience listening to this podcast to learn from this conversation?


David Friedman 7:23

Well, you know, it's a crazy world out there you have to, you have to pay attention wherever you go. You have to pay attention to your to your finances and your bank accounts. And a lot of times, a little common sense goes a long way.


Rob Leiponis 7:42

Yes, from security perspective, what we've seen with many clients, and also with working with Apple is tying together security systems to integrate the data into a centralized place. So it makes it easier for investigators to anticipate and thwart different types of crimes that may happen, as well as tying those security systems into the retail side of the bank. So that way, there's a stream, it's very transparent data that's displayed to the people that are working in the branches as well as the security personnel. So that way, people have the ability to react very quickly to any type of security threats that they may come upon. So that's really been our focus, listening and working with a lot of our clients and understanding what their needs are. And also thinking outside the box and creating additional features to help them get much more benefit out of our system. The system that David had rolled out has the ability to completely remotely updatable. So as we release new features sets to it, it's going to provide a wealth of additional security features, which, as a matter of fact, in the end of this week, or early next week, there's several new features that we'll be releasing into his environment for his evaluation that will provide additional security features for their customers. You know, and as banks are shrinking in size, and more technologies being deployed in ATM environments and branches are there's the number of total branches are shrinking, but ATMs will be here forever, because cash is king. Bitcoin has no doesn't have a lot of support these days. And you know, it's you need the infrastructure to support the cash that the banks are working on. That's their basis. So it's extremely important to provide a significant amount of security around an environment where as David said, they're not around the people that are using their ATMs. So it's extremely important to spend, you know increase the amount of your spend on an environment where there's there's no bank staff around to protect those customers.


Gabrielle 9:46

Is there anywhere that people can go visit to learn more about Apple Bank or Parabit Systems or get their questions answered? Can people reach out to you?


David Friedman 9:55

Anyone is welcome to look up applebank.com. I know Rob said that a lot of banks are shrinking, but Apple Bank is growing. We're going into the New Jersey market. We should be opening up a couple branches there very soon. So it's great time to be working at Apple Bank. And hopefully it's a great time to be a customer of Apple Bank.


Rob Leiponis 10:18

Oh, absolutely. I mean, we have a lot of information of videos and presentations on our website. Sales staff is always available response pretty much all hours of the day and evening to customers that are reaching in. David has been a great partner. He's spoken to some of our customers. And it's, you know, it's been a great relationship that we've had with Apple Bank.


Gabrielle 10:41

Well, that rounds up the conversation for today. So a big thank you to David and Rob for joining us here today to talk about how their companies are implementing change to enhance the customer experience through security. Thank you.

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